The transformation of French industrial relations: Labor representation and the state in a post-Dirigiste era
Despite continued social protest, something quite fundamental has changed in the regulation of class relations in France. This article explores two paradoxes of this transformation. First, a dense network of institutions of social dialogue and worker representation has become implanted in French firms at the same time as trade union strength has declined. Second, the transformation has involved a relaxation of centralized labor market regulation on the part of the state, yet the French state remains a central actor in the reconstruction of the industrial relations system. Institutional reform of industrial relations could not take place without the active intervention of the state because employers and trade unions alone were unable to create durable industrial relations institutions. The collapse of trade unionism meant the need for new actors on the labor side and only the state could both create and confer legitimacy upon those new actors.
Howell, Chris. 2009. The Transformation of French Industrial Relations: Labor Representation and the State in a Post-Dirigiste Era. Politics & Society 37, no. 2:229-256.
Politics & Society
Industrial relations, Trade unions, France, Institutions, State policy